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> Harmonizing Over Structure
iamblackmo
post Mar 2 2010, 05:29 PM
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OK, so my improvisation skills are this:

I watch a lesson, I learn the notes and the patterns then I listen to the backing track and try to come up with my own ideas using only then phrasing expressed in the original lesson.

Now, say I want to write a very ballady, slow jam for a woman and I decide that my friend can only comfortable play the open D, C, and G

How would I go about harmonizing over this? Like, would D minor pentatonic work well over the D chord and etc. This is what realy confuses me.

When I get to say, the C chord, can I play a C arpeggio over that section?

Anyhelp would be great

Your boy in love,

Mo
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jafomatic
post Mar 2 2010, 06:07 PM
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Well, what you've described will also work however you have some other options. The chords you've chosen happen to be I-IV-V in the key of G. This puts all the relatives that are enharmonic to G at your disposal for harmonizing:

G ionian
A dorian
B phrygian
C lydian
D mixolydian
E aeolian
F# locrian

They're all the same 7 notes: G, A, B, C, D, E, F# and that's not quite the same as your D minor pentatonic but if you DO want to impose a pentatonic over those major chords, you can. Include the blue note (flatted fifth from the root of whichever chord is playing) and it will sound just fine. Different, but still fine.

Try both, it should be an interesting exercise in modulating your melody rather than modulation in the chord progression.



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iamblackmo
post Mar 2 2010, 08:43 PM
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QUOTE (jafomatic @ Mar 2 2010, 12:07 PM) *
Well, what you've described will also work however you have some other options. The chords you've chosen happen to be I-IV-V in the key of G. This puts all the relatives that are enharmonic to G at your disposal for harmonizing:

G ionian
A dorian
B phrygian
C lydian
D mixolydian
E aeolian
F# locrian

They're all the same 7 notes: G, A, B, C, D, E, F# and that's not quite the same as your D minor pentatonic but if you DO want to impose a pentatonic over those major chords, you can. Include the blue note (flatted fifth from the root of whichever chord is playing) and it will sound just fine. Different, but still fine.

Try both, it should be an interesting exercise in modulating your melody rather than modulation in the chord progression.



Oh this is one great application of modes right here! Cant wait for him to bring his guitar and experiment!
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jafomatic
post Mar 2 2010, 09:24 PM
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Oh we're not done yet. Here's what you could play over each of those chords. Assuming you wrote them in order, which I didn't, it was V-IV-I in G. So:

While D is played, you can choose:
- D minor penta
- D mixo (relative to the tonal center of the song in G)
- D ionian (It is still a D major chord, different center now)
- B minor penta
- B phrygian (relative to the song in G)
- B aeolian (relative minor to the D chord)

You can repeat this for all the others as well.

C
- C minor penta
- C lydian (relative to the song in G)
- C ionian (it's still a C major chord, yeah?)
- A minor penta
- A dorian (relative to the song in G)
- A aeolian (relative minor to the C chord)

G
- G minor penta
- G ionian
- E minor penta
- E aeolian (relative minor to G)

I'm sure there's more ways to play around with those minors, and I'm also sure you don't want to go splattering all these notes out there at once. Pick and choose carefully, perhaps phrase by phrase, or section by section, throughout the song. At the very least, you should now be able to see your way through some interesting melodies; even if you're only using some of those relatives to establish a grace note here and there.



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Daniel Realpe
post Mar 14 2010, 08:54 PM
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That's a great explanation Jaf,

I think the key point here is to know what tonality you are in, (key)

Once you settle that you it's fairly easy to see what scales you can use. Also remember that the chromatic scale can always be useful when improvising.


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